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Kiprusoff passing on wisdom as Finland goalie coach

by Adam Kimelman

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Miikka Kiprusoff said the offer was too good to refuse. And that's why the former Calgary Flames goaltender has signed on to serve as goaltending coach for Finland's national junior team.

"It's been fun," he told "Head coach [Hannu Jortika] called me a couple months ago and he asked if I was interested to take a job and I was in right away. It was pretty cool to see these young, talented goalies and help them out a little bit."

In 12 NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks and Flames, Kiprusoff won 319 games, most of any Finnish goaltender in NHL history. He backstopped the Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, won the 2006 Vezina Trophy and won a bronze medal with Finland at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

He played his last NHL game in 2012-13 but has found a way to stay in the game, and that's passing his wisdom on to the next generation of Finnish goaltenders. At the Lake Placid camp he's working with Juuse Saros, a Nashville Predators prospect, and Kevin Lankinen, a 2015 NHL Draft prospect.

"They're some of the top talents in this age group in Finland," Kiprusoff said. "It's pretty easy to work with them. They do most of the work they do with their own teams and their own goalie coaches; my job here is to make sure they're feeling good and ready to go. It's a little different, but fun."

Kiprusoff said he doubts he'll follow in the footsteps of one of his former opponents, Patrick Roy.

"I think I'm more goalie coach type of guy," he said. "But it's a good way to start feeling it. It's not full time, but I work the tournaments and I'm going to go watch guys in Finland and I have to keep tabs with their goalie coaches and do everything I can to help them be better goalies."


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